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What can get lost in the work Planned Parenthood health centers do to extend care across the country — to people of all income levels, of all educational backgrounds, of all gender expressions, of every race and color — is how much of what Planned Parenthood does, every day, depends on the devotion and contributions of Black women.

Black women work at the heart of this institution. With a breadth of lived experiences, perspectives, and professional backgrounds, Black women provide care at Planned Parenthood health centers and inform how Planned Parenthood speaks and acts to protect and expand access to care.

We want you to meet a few of the Black women who power Planned Parenthood — and to read in their own words how, in the work they do, they stand with Black women every day.


 

Ambalika Williams

Patient Advocacy Program Manager, Planned Parenthood Federation of America

1. How long have you worked at Planned Parenthood?

I've worked with Planned Parenthood for two years.

2. Why did you come to work at PP?

I moved from Texas to D.C. to pursue a career in reproductive health advocacy after watching Texas close over 30 abortion clinics because of HB 2.

3. What does standing with Black women mean to you?

Working towards a movement of reproductive freedom is personally important to me because I have been denied reproductive health care several times because I am a Black lesbian. I believe standing with Black women means actively working toward creating a world where Black women and femmes can thrive and have full control of their destiny.


 

Nia Martin-Robinson

Director of Black Leadership and Engagement, Planned Parenthood Federation of America

1. What has been your path within Planned Parenthood?

I just celebrated my three-year Planniversary this January. I came to Planned Parenthood in January of 2016 as a Regional Campaign Director and more recently joined the Strategic Partnerships Team as the Director of Black Leadership and Engagement.

2. Why did you come to work at PP?

Planned Parenthood is an essential part of the fight for Reproductive Freedom, but we cannot be successful and fulfill our mission of health care for all or achieve health equity unless we prioritize Black women — the health of Black women, the families of Black women, and the leadership of Black women. I brought my skills and expertise to Planned Parenthood because I wanted to be a part of the legacy of Black women who are fighting to ensure that Black women, girls and femmes are centered in every facet of our work.

3. What does standing with Black women mean to you?

Everyday, our communities are under attack. Our access to sexual and reproductive health care is in jeopardy. We stand with Black women because Black women have been the backbone of social movements in this country for centuries.

We stand with Black women for whom the “choice” in “pro-choice” does not apply, because of restrictive policies — Black women in the rural South, for example, who are hundreds of miles from the nearest health center or hospital, and who too often find their pain ignored and their decisions shamed.


 

Jamesa Bailey

Manager, Black Organizing Program, Planned Parenthood Federation of America

1. What has been your path within Planned Parenthood?

I have been at Planned Parenthood since July 2016. I first joined the PP team as a coordinator in our Government Relations team and then transitioned to our Organizing and Engagement team as a coordinator for our Constituency Organizing team. In September 2018, I was promoted to the Manager of the Black Organizing Program, a new formal program within the federation, and I am so honored and excited to grow our Black organizing work.

2. Why did you come to work at PP?

I didn't know anything about Planned Parenthood until I got to college and I trusted Planned Parenthood of Dover, Del., to provide care for me while I was away. I didn't feel always feel comfortable going to my campus health center, so I was grateful that Planned Parenthood gave me the non-judgmental and affordable health care that I needed. I came to work here to not only repay them for taking such good care of me, but to also educate people, particularly Black women, on all of their sexual and reproductive health care options.

3. What does standing with Black women mean to you?

The word stand is a verb, which means it requires an action. Standing with Black women means more than just wearing the shirt or using the hashtag. Standing with Black women means you see us, our bodies, experiences, and voices and not only do you see those things but you also respect and value them. Standing with Black women requires intentionality, respect, and a strong desire to not just want to give us a seat at the table, but to help create a table for us.


 

Monica Massamba

Regional Youth and Campus Organizer, Planned Parenthood Federation of America

1. What has been your path within Planned Parenthood?

I joined Planned Parenthood in 2017 as Regional Youth & Campus Organizer in the Organizing, Engagement, & Campaigns Department. I will be celebrating my two-year anniversary this March.

2. Why did you come to work at PP?

I came to work at PP because when I needed to get my own abortion, Planned Parenthood staff supported me in helping me find a local provider and access to the Carolina Abortion Fund. After the 2016 election, I knew that the threat of defunding was real and I wanted to help mobilize young people of color in the fight to protect health care for millions across the country.

3. What does standing with Black women mean to you?

Standing with Black women means believing us when we report an assault. Standing with Black women means trusting our leadership. Standing with Black women means taking our health concerns seriously. Standing with Black women means providing the highest level of healthcare to any of us no matter what.

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